30 June 2015


I've been thinking lately that it would be nice to have a hammock. 

I own a hammock. I think. I just don't have it here. It is probably somewhere in my parents' basement, which is where everything is that I brought home from college/Rwanda/law school and dumped in the basement and then left there when I moved on to Rwanda/law school/Gone West. 

The only time I've ever hung that hammock was in Rwanda, which is funny because I bought it in 1999 in Nicaragua. It has traveled the world.

In Rwanda, I hung it (okay, my guards hung it) between two trees in front of my patio, just where the ground dropped off toward the lake. On Saturday afternoons, I would nap in it, in the shade and the bits of sunlight dappled through the leaves. Sometimes I would sit in it while I was on the phone or the computer.

One summer, I had an American college student stay with me (long story; I happened upon her at the Okapi minibus station while I was picking up a package that my office in Kigali had sent, the Okapi being both cheaper and more efficient than sending anything by mail, and offered her and the Rwandese guy with her a ride because they looked lost, and it turned out she needed a place to stay and stayed with me for most of the summer). 

I was sitting in the hammock doing something that I cannot remember at approximately lunch time. S. came out of the house with a plate of food for me, and I stood up to take it from her. Sitting back down, I forgot about the part where that type of hammock folds in on itself, and I sat down on nothing above a steep hill.

Somehow I tumbled over the folded hammock, upside down, somersaulting 180 degrees, and landed facing back up the hill, pasta and sauce splattered everywhere, the wind knocked out of me. 

That's a one time sort of mistake. One does not forget again.

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